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Bloom and Martyr takes 2015 John Lent Poetry-Prose Award
Okanagan College Media Release

Helen Hajnoczky Sept 2015Kalamalka Press merrily announces that the fourth annual John Lent Poetry-Prose Award goes to Montreal-based writer Helen Hajnoczky. The winner of the Lent  

Her chapbook
, Bloom and Martyr, was selected from nearly 40 manuscripts.

“The quality of submissions was stupidly high this year. It was such a privilege to read them all and such torment to have to choose only one for the crown,” notes Kevin McPherson, managing editor of Kalamalka Press and English professor at Okanagan College. “But Helen’s work is singular in its courage to invent sounds and imagery that pulse across the page and plants itself right into a reader’s neural pathways.”

Hajnoczky’s first book, Poets and Killers, was published with Snare Books in Montreal, while her poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies published across Canada.
Magyarázni, her second full-length poetry collection, will appear next year from the illustrious Coach House Books.

“I'm so honoured that my work was chosen!” writes Hajnoczky. “Nikki Sheppy, whose chapbook Grrrrlhood: A ludic suite won the John Lent Poetry-Prose award in 2013, and Natalie Simpson, whose work received honourable mention that same year, were the biggest influences on this work, so it's especially thrilling to have part of Bloom and Martyr chosen this year.”

The award continues to be judged by the writerly triad, Laisha Rosnau, kevin mcpherson eckhoff, and Jake Kennedy, who just published his third full-length poetry collection,
Merz Structure No. 2 Burnt by Children at Play.

The judges also selected a runner-up,
Biceps the Size of Tort Law in Singapore: The Minutes (XXV-XXXIII) by Alessandro Porco, and a shortlist of honourable mentions: Leather Heart by Trystan Carter, Ordinary Attrition by Cameron Anstee, and The Story from Here by Paul Hong.

Hajnoczky will receive an honorarium of $500, while her manuscript will be printed as a letterpress chapbook designed by English professor and award-winning bookmaker, Jason Dewinetz, and made by students in Okanagan College’s Writing and Publishing Diploma program in the spring of 2016.

A handful of copies of last year’s winner,
Wearing Your Pants by Nicholas Papaxanthos, as well as Okanagan College’s 3-Hour Short Story winner, Jesse Frechette’s Lost Control, are still available for purchase through the press’s website, kalamalkapress.ca